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Upgrade memory questions


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#1
duley3

duley3

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I have a dell dimension 1100. It came with a pc3200 256mb card. I want to put another card in but I'm a little confused. Read on to understand why I'm confused.

Pasted from dell web site

DDR Memory Overview
DDR memory modules should be installed in pairs of matched memory size. This means that if you purchased your computer with 128 MB of memory installed and you want to add another 128 MB of memory, you should install it in the appropriate connector. If the DDR memory modules are not installed in matched pairs, the computer will continue to operate, but with a slight reduction in performance.


Chat with Dell support

He said as long as I got the same speed (MHz) the size (Mb) wouldn't matter. It wouldn't run with a slight reduction in performance as stated above. Even if I had 1 PC3200 256 and 1 PC3200 512.


Dell Forum

A person there told me that. I would need to have identical cards (Mb and MHz). If I didn't have the same size I would have 15% - 25% lose of performance. This is not what deal support chat person told me.


Called Dell support on the phone

This person said that the chat person was correct. But, Later in the phone call told me I needed another PC3200 256 to match the one I have.


So now you know why I'm confused. I got a couple of different answers. I had a PC2100 from my last system. I was wanting to use it. But didn't know if it would make my system run slower because of the speed.

I have a couple of question for you people now.

a. Will the PC2100 256 installed with the one that came installed make my system slower?

b. Do these have to be identical cards? Or do they just need to be the same MHz and the Mb not matter like the first person told me?

c. I know this might be a stupid question. But I just need to ask.
If the card do have to be the same size and speed does it have to be made by the same company?

Thanks for the help.
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#2
kidnova

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If you're going to add RAM, it's always better to add the same type (ie PC3200) and if you're running in dual channel, the same size (ie 256MB). The brand generally does not matter, although some people have reported problems using mismatched brands. You could use another type (ie PC2100), but the faster RAM would be forced to run at the slower RAM's speed which would degrade performance.

So, in summary, if possible go with the same type and size as the other stick you currently have.
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#3
duley3

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So, in summary, if possible go with the same type and size as the other stick you currently have.


So the brand most time doesn't have to be the same correct?

Just so I clear on this. If I'm running 1 PC3200 256Mb (installed now) and I add another PC3200 512Mb My performance will increase. But it would be even better if I had 2 of the same sticks dual channel.

What are the benifits of dual channel setup? Is there a site or a post that you could link me to?

Thanks again
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#4
Neil Jones

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So the brand most time doesn't have to be the same correct?


Brand doesn't matter, its the speed of the memory that's more important. The computer really doesn't care whether you give it some cheap stuff off eBay, Kingston or any other brand as long as it can talk to it.

Just so I clear on this. If I'm running 1 PC3200 256Mb (installed now) and I add another PC3200 512Mb My performance will increase. But it would be even better if I had 2 of the same sticks dual channel.


Just adding the extra stick on its own will speed things up a long way. Just make sure it's PC3200 (aka DDR400) and you're sorted. For dual-channel, you'd need a board that supports it - most Dells probably won't, but can't say for sure as Dell thought it would be a good idea to re-use the model names in different regions for different target audiences.
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#5
duley3

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They tell me that I have a board that supposrt dual channel . Is there anything I need to do after installing matched sticks to reep the benifits of have a dual channel setup? Or will it setup on its own?
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#6
Neil Jones

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It should just use it on its own, as Dell tend to cut down on support calls by enabling features that may or may not be used out of the box.
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